WESTERN LEGACY ALLIANCE SUPPORTS OVERHAUL OF THE EAJA ACT
Moreland--The Western Legacy Alliance wholeheartedly offers its full support to H.R. 4717, the Open EAJA Act of 2010 which will begin the process of uncovering how deep-pocketed environmental groups and their army of lawyers have abused the Equal Access to Justice Act receiving millions in taxpayer dollars to advance their agenda. This bipartisan effort co-authored by Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) and Rob Bishop (R-UT) will open the government’s books and finally shed some light on these abuses.
The Equal Access to Justice Act was never intended to be used as a funding source for any political cause or as a backdoor to advancing an agenda. Almost 30 years ago, with the best of intentions Congress passed the EAJA. Simply stated EAJA said that if the government had done wrong against small businesses, including farms and ranches, and they challenged the government in federal court, they would not have to go bankrupt awash in legal fees protecting their rights. If they were victorious in court, the government would have to pay their legal fees. It leveled the playing field so that Citizen David could stand up and defend himself against Big Government Goliath.
EAJA abuse is just the tip of the iceberg as these radical environmental groups have tapped other sources of taxpayer dollars that were never meant for that purpose to fund their agenda. As Congress begins the process of following the money trail of EAJA abuse, we urge them to continue uncovering other ways that the taxpayer’s hard earned dollars are being used to advance a particular political agenda and support the ever growing cottage industry of environmental lawyers and the special interests that profit from this abuse.
With soaring deficits, Congress needs to ensure that every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely. H.R.4717 should be the first of many steps in that direction. Representatives
Lummis, Herseth Sandlin and Bishop should be commended for their groundbreaking efforts and we urge all Members of Congress to sign on as co-sponsors to this important legislation.